On Saturday we had such an enjoyable day off watching the Novice & Intermediate Championships as well as mooching around all the fabulous shops picking up a lovely Joules Festival of Eventing memento.
We were on early the following morning, I felt like my brain hadn't switched off all night in case I forgot something or lost my way round the courses! It is definitely harder getting your head around doing an event on different days, when I'm so used to cramming in 3 phases on one day... makes more room for nerves!
Lady warmed up really nice and was jumping well, Usually its her strongest phase, she's only had one pole down all season and has jumped the last 5 novices shes done clear! We had fence 3 down of a tight turn which was a shame, but she jumped well through the double fence 4 and to fence 5 which came up on us quick, fence 6 was the BETA fence which jumped into the crowd and the wall behind it, I can only think she misread it and went to chip another stride in which wasn't there. I gathered my reins quickly...! She jumped 7 well, 8 and the double at 9 which was a long stride but luckily we rode for it! She almost thought she had finished going back past the entrance so I had to ride hard for fence 10 a tripple bar, she flew that with just 1 fence left on a dog leg, I was gutted I didn't quite move the canter on enough so the faults soon added up to our worst ever SJ round at our most important event! Just shows what pressure & nerves can do, and I must admit I really didn't enjoy that phase at all like I usually do. Trying not to dwell on the fact I would of been just outside the top 10 with a lovely clear.. god dammit! I was determined to enjoy and attack the cross country.